Why didn’t Ron Washington bring in Neftali Feliz in the eighth inning?

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It’s the question ringing in everybody’s head this morning.

In the post-game press conference, Ron Washington was asked why he didn’t consider bringing in Neftali Feliz for a six-out save, instead of turning to Darren Oliver, Darren O’Day, Clay Rapada and then, finally, Derek Holland (via the Dallas Morning News). You know, pretty much everyone except his best reliever.

“No. He’s never done anything like that. I wouldn’t do that. I had the people I wanted in the game. They didn’t get it done. It happens.”

That would be a fine retort if it was even remotely true. Fact is, it’s not. While none of them were “save situations,” Feliz has been used for six outs three times this season, including an extra inning win against these very same Yankees back on August 10. He has been asked to get at least four outs three other times. This season he has been groomed for short work out of the bullpen, but last season, eight of his 20 appearances were two innings or more.

“The Darrens” have been pretty effective this season, so I don’t necessarily disagree with using them, at least initially, but I just can’t understand how you put Game 1 in the hands of Clay Rapada. Why save Neftali Feliz for a save opportunity which may never come?

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to minor-league deal

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The Twins have reportedly signed free agent shortstop Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported Friday. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the deal comes with a potential $1.25 million if Aybar reaches the majors, with additional incentives based on plate appearances. He’ll be able to opt out on March 27. The team has yet to confirm the signing.

Aybar, 34, is now four years removed from his career year in 2014. He’s been in a state of steady decline since then, slashing just .234/.300/.348 with seven home runs and 11 stolen bases over 370 plate appearances for the Padres in 2017. His poor performance wasn’t helped by a fractured left foot, either, which cost him almost six weeks on the disabled list.

Still, the Twins see something promising in the veteran infielder, and reportedly intend to use him as another utility option this spring. Per Neal, Aybar will join fellow backup infielders Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza and may even (temporarily) take over for Miguel Sano at third base if Sano isn’t able to shape up for the role by Opening Day.